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Guest post by Landon Saunders

There is a wonderful story about Samuel Johnson, a famous British lexicographer from the 1700’s. He was a very large man, and, as the story goes, after he had become quite well-known, he decided to visit the house where he grew up.

The woman who now lived in it was excited about the famous Dr. Johnson coming and paying a visit to the house. But while she was getting everything tidied up and ready, she happened to look out the window and there, having stepped back several paces from the high fence surrounding the house, was Dr. Johnson—obviously sizing up the distance between where he was and the height of that fence.

Before she could do anything, the great Samuel Johnson, maybe 60 years old, started hurdling his large frame toward that fence. He took a huge leap and made it up over the fence but then went rolling in the dirt on the other side.  She went running out and said “Oh, Dr. Johnson, Dr. Johnson, there was a gate over there.”  He said, “Dear lady, I know there was a gate over there, but as a boy I used to jump that fence, and I just wondered if I still could.”

I suppose that’s what you would call exuberance for life! We need that exuberance, don’t we? We especially need it during these times when there are so many important and serious things that are clamoring for our attention—things that need our attention.

It can be tempting to trivialize and disregard the importance of exuberance, to see it as not worthy of our time in the face of so many other serious issues.  But exuberance for life is not a luxury; it is a necessity if we want to approach any of the challenges of our world today with creativity, compassion, and humanity.

Make exuberance a priority in every day. I truly believe it is the force of life.  Maybe this week, you can find your own fences to jump.